A compilation of my Hetalia costumes from this year (some of them are old costumes with new wigs). I just uh got really excited about curly wigs. I was really tempted to try to finish the pirate Norway costume that’s been sitting around half-finished since July but I haven’t had the energy.
A Nordics AU focused entirely around the sea and the boats that sail upon it.
Mathias Andersen is a notorious pirate who roams the Northern Atlantic and the North Sea, ravaging and pillaging the coasts of Canada, Northern America, Norway, and Denmark. He’s passed into the realm of legend becoming known as The Will ‘o’ the Wisp of the Atlantic since he’s always managed to evade capture and seems to vanish like mist on the water.
Lukas Sørensen is a Captain in Norway’s Royal Navy and was given strict orders to apprehend and bring in Mathias and his crew for their crimes. Frightfully effective, Lukas still finds himself a step behind Mathias unless Mathias dictates otherwise. He finds himself getting swept up into the whirlwind that Mathias brings with him where ever he goes and captivated by his charisma and charm. Before he knows it, Lukas has found that he’s fallen in love with the pirate after a series of scandalous soirées and rendezvous. Torn between his duty and his heart, Lukas struggles to do his job while courting with the enemy.
Emil Stielsson is an orphan who was picked up by Mathias when he was young. He looks up to Mathias as a fatherly or older brother figure. He is a part of Mathias’s crew and tries to do his best despite Mathias coddling him some and being overprotective of him. He’s constantly trying to prove that he’s no longer a child and can do a man’s work. He rather likes Lukas, despite him being a part of the Navy. He really wishes he would just quit and join up with them so Mathias would quit sighing and making puppy-dog eyes over him.
Tino Väinämöinen is Mathias’s first mate and the best damn shot the seven seas has ever seen. He seems sweet and cuddly on the outside but there is a reason that he’s Mathias’s first mate. He’s a fantastic tactician and Mathias turns to his counsel for planning his raids above all others. Tino is also frightfully taken with Lukas’s first mate, Berwald Oxenstierna.
Berwald Oxenstierna is Lukas’s first mate. He’s a man of few words but his presence more than makes up for his taciturn nature. He specifically requested to be a part of Luka’s crew. His qualifications naturally moved him up through the ranks instantly to his current rank. Berwald had a personal history with Mathias, back when they both were younger and needless to say the two have never gotten along. He was determined to see Mathias and his crew hang. Upon meeting the rest of Mathias’s crew, his colors changed. He found Emil capable and was one of the few people to treat him like the adult he so desperately wanted to be seen as. He was besotted with Mathias’s first mate, Tino and the two started a fumbling relationship that didn’t become intimate until much, much later.
Needless to say Lukas and Berwald made a disgrace of the Royal Navy by abandoning their posts and willfully aligning themselves in league with the very pirates they were sent to apprehend. Shenanigans ensue as the rag-tag pirate crew continue to seek their illicit fortunes, with the two former Navy officers attempting to put a shade of justice upon their activities, while avoiding the authorities that wish to see them all dead.
((Day two of Polymanga ! It was raining an awful lot but it was still awesome ! We met our friends cosplaying Fem!Finland, Fem!Norway, Fem!France, and France ! Shh but I wanted to take pictures on the wet rocks near the lake but Fiona was afraid that I’d fall in the water and I didn’t listen to her …))
So for the past week or so, we’ve been preparing a new version of our internal beta for the game. Whenever a new one is on the way, as soon as most of the bugs are gone, we suddenly spot all kinds of things that ought to be better. So this week we suddenly found ourselves rewriting a lot of cutscenes in the last minute in an effort to give things that extra bit of polish.
One of those is a pretty important scene in the game. Originally, the character sprites were discussing an important character, and the dialogue just wasn’t bringing across the character’s significance. So we thought we’d add some visuals. Here’s what Simon initially pitched:
Most of Owlboy’s story is told through what is happening directly within the game, so these scenes were a bit of a change from the norm. With images this large, it allowed for more freedom in the use of lighting and detail.
Usually the most crucial step in these kinds of images is the palette. Especially when working with pixel art, most colors are recycled and will greatly affect the outcome by the end. Because of the flames shown in the back, a bighter backdrop was initially chosen, but it ended up fading out the scenery behind the main character. Additionally, you want to reuse colors from other areas to make your image feel whole. In this case, the colors of the fire and gold buckles mirrored the ones in the banners and fire, but the dark sky helped incorporate some of the darkness left by the clothing.
The finished result!
The image will be sepparated into parallax layers and be given subtle movement and particle effects by the time it is complete.
Much of the work we’ve been doing recently has been on characterization and story. The danger with having a game with dialogue is that it can feel very static, and so we’ve been trying to polish up the cutscenes so that they feel like they’re more alive with events always taking place. Hopefully by our next update we can take a better look at the world itself.
And with that, its time to review the results of our internal beta! Wish us luck!